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Brave Jack and the Unicorn

by Janet McNaughton
illustrated by Susan Tooke

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list price: $22.99
published: 2005
publisher: Tundra
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Brave Jack and the Unicorn

“In a little cove by the sea, lived an old widow with three sons.” So begins this Newfoundland folktale, where the selfless hero, rhythmical language and haunting seascapes enchant…

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2006.

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  • , Silver Birch Award for Non-Fiction
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Neither handsome nor clever, Jack – the youngest of three brothers – causes his widowed mother much concern. The family is convinced he is nothing but a fool. When his brothers go off to seek their fortune and don’t return, Jack is sent to find them. Along the way he performs good deeds for helpless creatures, who repay his kindness in magical ways. Hearing of an evil magician who controls the life of the princess, Jack poses as a suitor and faces three tests – but can he find the elusive unicorn and save the princess from her fate?

Acclaimed Newfoundland author Janet McNaughton tells a classic tale of good and evil, accompanied by Susan Tooke’s illuminating paintings, rich with influences from the Middle Ages, Celtic symbolism, and Newfoundland’s breathtaking coastal landscape.

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Contributor notes

Janet McNaughton was born and raised in Toronto but has spent most of her adult life in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she completed both Master’s and Doctoral degrees in folklore. She began writing very bad poetry at the age of eleven. Her writing gradually improved in high school and she took some creative writing courses at York University. After finishing her degrees, Janet returned to writing, working first as a freelance writer, then writing for children. Her work has won ten awards to date. Brave Jack and the Unicorn, her first picture book, draws on the rich tradition of Newfoundland folktales.

Susan Tooke is an award-winning artist whose repertoire includes painted murals, landscapes, portraits, and digital imaging montages. She has exhibited her artwork across North America. She has illustrated three picture books with Tundra, including A Seaside Alphabet, A Fiddle for Angus, and Full Moon Rising, for which she was awarded the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Illustration from the Halifax Regional Municipality. Born in New Jersey, Susan Tooke now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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About the Authors

Janet McNaughton

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Susan Tooke

Susan Tooke is an award-winning artist and children's book illustrator whose work has been exhibited across North America. In 2003, she received the Halifax Mayor's Award for Illustration, and she is a three-time winner of the Lillian Sheppard Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration, for Full Moon Rising, Up Home, and The City Speaks in Drums. She lives in Halifax. Visit Susan Tooke's art blog.

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